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2 video-conference meetings of prisoners with lawyers allowed twice a week in all jails: Delhi govt to HC

2 video-conference meetings of prisoners with lawyers allowed twice a week in all jails: Delhi govt to HC

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New Delhi [India], July 7 (ANI): The Delhi government on Tuesday told the Delhi High Court that it has allowed two video-conference meetings of prisoners with lawyers twice a week in all jails in the national capital.
Appearing for Delhi government, advocate Satyakam told a division bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan that it has issued a circular on July 6 whereby legal meetings of all prisoners of Tihar jail has been allowed.
Representing petitioner Sarthak Maggon, senior advocate Vikas Pahwa urged the court to issue certain directions related to privacy in the legal meetings.
According to the circular, the legal interview shall be conducted in the presence of Deputy Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent or other jail staff but out of the hearing. The court also clarified that the legal meetings will be conducted in the presence of jail superintendents but they will be out of the range of hearing during the meeting.
With these directions, the court disposed of the petitions filed by one Ajit P Singh and another by Sarthak Maggon, seeking directions to the prison authorities to allow a legal meeting of prisoners with advocates.
The court has appreciated the concerned authorities for taking a stand of permitting legal interviews to prisoners. The court said that there is always a scope of amendments and so suggestions given by the petitioners should be kept in mind to make the facilities more user friendly.
Advocate Sarthak Maggon sought quashing of an order dated March 25, which suspended the physical legal meetings in Tihar Jail, saying that telephonic legal meetings were to be set up thereafter but no such set up has been provided so far.
This has led to delays in both access and administration of justice because both the advocates and inmates are struggling to establish a connection for the purposes of seeking appropriate remedies applicable under law thereby jeopardising their innate right to personal liberty and quality of life in the backdrop of a global pandemic, the plea said. (ANI)

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